KCLS Recommends: Children's - Middle Eastern Heritage
Annotation:A cat sneaks into a small Palestinian house on the West Bank that has been commandeered by two Israeli soldiers. The house seems empty, until the cat realizes that a little boy is hiding beneath the floorboards. Should she help him? After all, she's just a cat. Or is she? Grades 4- 6.
Annotation:The Shahnameh is a collection of stories and myths from ancient Persia, written into an epic poem by the poet Firdousi in the 10th century. This is a beautifully illustrated version for children. Ages 10 - 13.
Annotation:Aref, a third-grader from Muscat, Oman, is moving Michigan. He's not happy to be moving. His mother asks his grandfather, his Siddi, to help Aref pack. Siddi takes Aref around the country, storing up memories he can carry with him to a new home. Beautifully written in prose by award winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye. Ages 8 - 12
Annotation:Examines the inventions and scientific discoveries from the Golden Age of the Muslim world, and discusses the introduction of the decimal system, Alhazen's study of light, the maps drawn by Al-Idrisi, and more. Ages 9 – 12.
Annotation:Three Arab-American girls learn about their family and cultural history from their grandmother, who grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and moved to New Jersey after her marriage. Ages 6 – 8.
Annotation:Documents the inspiring January 2011 story about how thousands of Egypt's students, library workers, and demonstrators joined hands around the great Library of Alexandria to protect the building and the freedom it represents.
Annotation:In Sydney, Australia, and in Morocco, two boys and their families have a day of shopping. Readers are invited to compare illustrations in two wordless stories that are intended to be read one from left to right and the other from right to left. Ages 5 - 7
Annotation:As Nasreddine and his father take dates, wool, chickens, or watermelon to market, people tease them no matter who is riding their donkey, and this causes Nasreddine embarrassment until his father helps him to understand. Ages 6 - 8
Annotation:After her parents are taken away by the Taliban, young Nasreen stops speaking but as she spends time in a secret school, she slowly breaks out of her shell. Ages 6 - 9
Annotation:In the companion novel to Shooting Kabul, Ariana's family owns the Kabul Corner, an Afghan grocery store in suburban Freemont, California. The arrival of a rival Afghan grocery threatens the family livelihood and rekindles an old feud. When both grocery stores are vandalized, the kids must unite to stop the crime. Ages 8 - 12
Annotation:Surviving in a cave in war-torn Afghanistan, Aman and his mother are separated from Aman's beloved dog, Shadow, when they flee for the safety of England, a situation that compels Aman to accept help from new friends to reunite with his dog. Ages 9-14
Annotation:Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the summer of 2001, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind. Ages 9-14
Annotation:A childless woman's prayers are answered by the arrival of a talking pot, but the new mother knows that Little Pot must learn right from wrong just like any child. Ages 3 – 8.
Annotation:.Jameela feels relatively secure, sustained by her Muslim faith and the love of her mother, Mor. But when Mor dies, Jameela's father impulsively decides to start a new life in Kabul where Jameela ultimately becomes an orphan after being abandoned in a busy marketplace by her father and stepmother. Ages 10 +
Annotation:Thirteen-year-old Hayaat makes the perilous journey from Bethlehem, across the Separation Wall, into Jerusalem in an attempt to fill an empty hummus jar with soil from the land of her grandmother's ancestral home. Ages 9–14
Annotation:Impressed by a poor Jewish shoemaker's belief that God will ensure everything turns out as it should, a shah in Kabul, Afghanistan, devises a series of hardships to test the man's faith. Ages 5-8
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The “Middle East” (also called the “Near East”) is a region in Western Asia and North Africa. It consists of countries from Libya to Afghanistan, usually including Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the other countries of the Arabian peninsula. Although the Middle East is majority Arab in ethnicity and the largest practiced religion is Islam, this list will consider books for children that are from any of the many ethnicities and religious groups of the Middle East. The people and culture of anyone who is geographically from or descended from the Middle East are included on this list. This booklist is not intended to be a booklist about Islam. However, Islamic people and culture may be portrayed in books that describe people from the Middle East or people of Middle Eastern Heritage. The list may include picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, folklore, biography, both fiction and non-fiction. Books will be selected by qualified librarians based on their quality, availability and kid appeal.